At long last, the Ottawa Senators
will finally get their captain back.
, who missed the final 28 games of the 2010-11 regular season before undergoing back surgery in June, will return to the lineup for the first time in seven months on Friday when the Senators play host to the Montreal Canadiens
in a preseason game at Scotiabank Place.
According to all reports, the 38-year-old Alfredsson, who thought he might be forced into retirement after playing a career-low 54 games last season, has looked sharp in training camp. He's looking forward to getting back on the ice with his teammates.
"Things are going well, so the next step is playing a game," Alfredsson told the Ottawa Sun. "The scrimmages, battling drills in practice and lots of skating as we have been doing, to be able to do it two or three days in a row … that's a good sign."
Ottawa coach Paul MacLean
, who is in his first season behind the bench, is looking forward to having the team's heart and soul back in the lineup.
"He felt real good coming into training camp and I think he's gotten better every day," MacLean told Ottawa's website. "We said before training camp, we're going to be cautious about when he plays. We didn't want to put him in before he was ready to play ... (now) he's ready to play."
Alfredsson has produced 389 goals and 1,023 points in 1,056 career games spanning 15 seasons with the Senators.
"It's one thing to score in practice or make things happen," Alfredsson said. "It's fun when fans are in the stands, that's the biggest reason you play."